Former BES boss ordered to pay €8 million, “without right to appeal”

Portugal’s Competition Court combines three enforcement actions into one

Portugal’s Competition Court has combined three enforcement actions into one for the enforced collection of fines imposed on former boss of Banco Espirito Santo, Ricardo Salgado, totalling €8 million, reports Lusa.

At stake are fines related to cases of commercial paper of the Espírito Santo Group sold in BES branches (€3.7 million), violation of the law on combating money laundering and funding terrorism (€290,000) and BESA/Eurofin related to the credit and real estate portfolios of BES Angola and acts of ruinous management (€4 million), all of which are final and unappealable.

The former BES chairman has never paid any of the fines levied by administrative bodies and confirmed by the courts, in contrast to other defendants, such as Amilcar Morais Pires, the group’s former chief financial officer, who has been paying in instalments, a judicial source told Lusa.

Mr Salgado’s reason for not paying the fines was always that he had all his money tied up in securing bail, while other assets had been preventively seized as part of various criminal proceedings against him.

According to Lusa who cited “a source”, those assets “were never evaluated, and for a possible sale to pay the fines, they would have to be removed from the places where they are located, be evaluated and then sold”. 

This would be an “intricate” procedure, not least because Mr Salgado is living in one of his seized assets (his family home, surrounded by furniture, paintings etc., all theoretically ‘seized’), and said to be suffering from advancing Alzheimer’s disease.

There is also the added complication that the seizure of assets “occurred under other proceedings” meaning the collection of fines “cannot collide with any future interests” involved in those proceedings.

This is therefore just another tortuous scene in this dark tragedy that has been running for almost nine years. In fact, eight years ago, reports were suggesting Ricardo Salgado’s fines could reach €10 million.

BES imploded in August 2014 causing losses that reportedly exceeded €11.8 billion.

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Portugal Resident